Blizzard Cancels Ambitious Titan MMO After Seven Years

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Blizzard Cancels Ambitious Titan MMO After Seven Years

Blizzard Entertainment Logo

Blizzard tried its best with Titan, but ultimately, it's an MMO the developer isn't interested in pursuing.

After the staggering success of World of Warcraft, the tiniest hints that Blizzard was working on a next-gen MMO code-named Titan is worth paying attention to. The only problem was, after seven years, we still didn't know anything about it. The last we'd heard, Blizzard had restarted the game and trimmed seventy people off of the team. Now the developer has officially confirmed that Titan has been cancelled, citing a lack of passion in the project.

"We had created World of Warcraft, and we felt really confident that we knew how to make MMOs," Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime explained. "So we set out to make the most ambitious thing that you could possibly imagine. And it didn't come together. We didn't find the fun. We didn't find the passion. We talked about how we put it through a reevaluation period, and actually, what we reevaluated is whether that's the game we really wanted to be making. The answer is no."

According to Polygon, part of the issue is that Blizzard has realized it doesn't need to focus solely on MMOs. Successful small-scale releases like Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm have shifted Blizzard's focus to other projects instead of putting all its resources into a single massive project.

"We don't want to identify ourselves with a particular genre. We just want to make great games every time," Morhaime continued. "I wouldn't say no to ever doing an MMO again. But I can say that right now, that's not where we want to be spending our time."

Of course, the most disappointing detail for fans is that after all this time, we have no idea how ambitious Titan would have been. Perhaps those details will emerge one day, but in the meantime, Blizzard still intends to keep supporting World of Warcraft. Its latest expansion pack, Warlords of Draenor, launches this November.

Source: Polygon

Permalink

Man, that's even more disappointing than what happened to Starcraft: Ghost. At least we got some idea of what that would've been like had it been released (and Titan was a new IP on top of that.)

Don't suppose anyone here is secretly a Blizzard employee with Alpha pictures and a willingness to sate my curiosity?

Wow, it's really been 7 years since we first heard of Project Titan? Man, how time flies.

Still, I'm sorry to hear that Titan has been canceled. I wouldn't have gotten it either way, but I know a lot of other people wanted it (At least when it was first announced).

Well, that sucks. Cue the yearly WoW expansions I suppose.

Titanfell.

Anyway, can't be all that disappointed personally, considering we didn't see anything of it at all.

Better to scrap a train wreck before it even happens. Despite the trashing of blizzards design philosophy it's good to see a developer recognize that a product that isn't great isn't worh putting out. Even if millions have been spent and hundreds of hours wasted.

Maybe now they can get to work on Warcraft 4...

At least they were smart enough to cut their losses. I am glad to see they put job fulfillment before the bottom line.

Cue the translator:-

"With falling World of Warcraft revenues and a more steady income stream from À la carte business models in games like MOBAs and CCGs and the recent mediocre reception of their latest online game Activision told us to stop dicking around with a game that hadn't seen the light of day for seven years."

It seems like even Blizzard can't produce an MMO to dethrone WoW. It was good of them not to get people hyped for it.

I like how Blizzard doesn't release a game if it doesn't meet their high standards, no matter how much money they put into it. It makes me wonder how Diablo 3 got released though.

I think it's best that they stay focused on WoW. It's still massive, but it's not the unstoppable force it was back in 2008. Hopefully, this next expansion (or the one after it) can get them a little closer to that Golden Age.
Or at least be better than Cataclysm. What a shitty game.

I'd love to see what they managed to do though. Some concept art, synopses, treatments, w/e, just so we know what they'd been doing for nearly a decade.

Lack of passion? Is there really NOBODY at Blizzard that is excited with the idea of branching away from the SAME THREE FRANCHISES? Then again, taking into account how long it has taken them to release the rest of Starcraft 2, I imagine a passion for any kind of work is hard to find in the Amusement Park that is Blizzard HQ.

The first casualty of Rob Pardo's departure. Possibly the reason.

I'm interested in seeing what Jeff Kaplan and the gang can do. Hopefully they can go back to WoW and make it a game for people that like video games again.

Well it's official, even Blizzard can't out-WoW themselves.

On a serious note, good. They really don't need to make a new MMO if they don't want to, MMOs can feel stale and dispassionate even if the team desperately love making them, would hate to see titan go that way.

While WoW is certainly past it's peak, it's nice to know that the niche will be open to more competition when it finally does drop out of the public consciousness. Or the next 2 expansions could be like gold dust / cocaine and get the subs even higher than WOTLK. You never know.

Lord knows how much money they had already pumped into it instead of focusing on their projects at hand. Hopefully they effort hadnt' been completely wasted, and the teams that have worked on it have better experience for future projects and making current ones better.

crepesack :
Better to scrap a train wreck before it even happens. Despite the trashing of blizzards design philosophy it's good to see a developer recognize that a product that isn't great isn't worh putting out. Even if millions have been spent and hundreds of hours wasted.

Somebody should tell Gearbox this. See Aliens: Colonial Marines and Duke Nukem Forever.

I, for one, almost admire them for moves like this. Sure, it's disappointing to many that they will never get to see it, but taking pride in your work to the extent that you won't put out something sub-par even if it would be financially sensible, shows a certain artistic backbone, which is all too rare in the commercial sector of videogames.

See, the thing is, first someone else needed to have success in something new for Blizzard to have copied and refined. That happened to MOBAs - so that's where Blizzard went.

they put their self admitted worst "designer" in charge of it (jeff kaplan)...and man who's crowning design achievement in vanilla was that damn STV quest where you had to collect loads of pages of a book that virtually no one ever did (seriously)...and he proceed to fall out with most of the other assigned talent leading to the leaving of, amongst others, their long time raid boss encounter lead because in reality he's nothing but a jumped up former shouty hardcore raider who caught a lucky break in the pals department when playing EQ.

*and breath*

nah seriously that's what happened.

Blizzard has a serious production problem (mainly due to "lead devs" of shallow talent and an office buddies culture existing between some of them and what is now management) and it's not funny any more.

i expect Activision to set wheels in motion so they can offload Blizzard if they feel it is necessary medium to long term because of its failure to perform anywhere near in line with performance and release exceptions proposed at the point of the merger.

Less potential MMOs in existence? I can not say I am disappointed.

More potential Hearthstone card releases? Yes please.

Problem for Blizzard is that Blizzard = WoW, the more that game declines the less they are worth

So that's it then, the age of the subscription MMO is pretty much over.

EVE, FFXI and FFXIV are making it work, but on a small scale.
Elder Scrolls: Online can't bust a million subcribers.
The Old Republic was a total and humiliating failure.
World of Warcraft continues to be huge, but is literally half the size it used to be.

Even so this is a bit of surprise, if they were prepared to just bin it then Titan must have been a hell of a long way from anything functional even after seven years.

I love that. "Hey guys, we don't need to be creative or anything and make a new IP, we can still flog our old IPs in new game genres!" Thus went Blizzard the way of Nintendo.

WoW is still pulling 8-10x the numbers of its competitors, but I'd agree that we're never going to see anyone (including Blizz)find that kind of success in the subscription-based MMO world again. WoW grabbed ahold of a moment in time and it's frankly a credit to the quality of the game that it's still hovering around 8 million subscribers. I'm currently out of the game, but I'll probably re-sub next month to power through the last of the MoP content (I'm a lore wonk) then play till I've seen the first raids, it's the lather/xpac/repeat I've been doing since WOTLK.

Fanboyism aside, I'm sure Titan had at least one if not more playable builds over the course of 7 years but the quality wasn't where they wanted it. They scrapped Ghost and Lord of the Clans pretty darn late in their production cycles (In lord of the Clans' case late enough that I have a promotional t-shirt they gave to employees at the game store I worked at back 15 or so years ago).

While their games aren't to everyone's taste, Blizzard still releases functional and stable products that are shined till they glisten, and I respect your opinion if you might happen to think some of the games are shiny, easy to use turds. I'm glad Blizz is sticking to their "it ships when it's done, and if we don't like it enough to put our name on it you'll never see it" guns.

7 years....dam its raelly been that long. Oh well maybe they bring out that StarCraft Ghost game ? no ? lol or maybe do somthing with Swignin Ape studios guys behind metal arms ? no ? You will always be known for WoW. face it.

I think it's funny that Blizzard can say out loud that they created World of Warcraft when the majority of the major players involved in the creation of that game are long gone. It's even worse that they continue to hang their hats on it.

Does Blizzard have nothing new to stand on?

For. Fucks. Sake.
WoW became too big and they shut down Titan. I fuckin' knew it. God damn it!

MMO's not doing well has been known for at least five years now and the single most important fact of creating a new one is that you can't aim it at the mainstream audience anymore, nor can you risk millions of dollars on a project that won't sustain itself or turn a huge profit in the long run.

New MMO's have to be smaller and be aimed at niche audiences. The project doesn't have to be as grand as a new major MMO at all and honestly it doesn't need to be server based either - let people do their own communities and have them pay for their own hosting (but not with a subscription model, obviously).
This will inevitably lead to cheating, but so what? If that's what people want, then let them have fun with that. Use a system like VAT for public or official servers to avoid it and state it in an EULA that the company is not responsible for third party programs or whatever.

As for genres, you can have anything you want and it doesn't need to be combat based. It could focus on survival, building, roleplaying, crafting, politics, economy or something else entirely.

There are a ton of possibilities to make money off of, but companies insist on trying these massively scaled projects that appeal as broadly as possible, to be the next "World of Warcraft"... Forget it. Be original, be creative and be clever.

fix-the-spade:
So that's it then, the age of the subscription MMO is pretty much over.

EVE, FFXI and FFXIV are making it work, but on a small scale.
Elder Scrolls: Online can't bust a million subcribers.
The Old Republic was a total and humiliating failure.
World of Warcraft continues to be huge, but is literally half the size it used to be.

Even so this is a bit of surprise, if they were prepared to just bin it then Titan must have been a hell of a long way from anything functional even after seven years.

Unfortunately it's our loss, People are being fed the idea of Free to play but that's a bad road for all gamers, in the past developers knew that if they wanted our money they had to produce and support quality games or we went else where. Then the F2P con started in casual gaming from companies like Popcap and King, and it's spread it's cancer to mainstream games and people lap it up where they can put out half finished untested and substandard games and people accept it because it's free right who cares? while they use all their time to produce more crap to sell to players.

These companies actually make a lot more money from the F2P model while spending a lot less money and time on their product, even the games which tried a Sub model like ToR and ESO were a con because they were never intended to stay that way, it was an easy way of making quick bucks before the F2P option was launched. The Old Republic hurt me the most, whatever people say it was a brilliant game and engaging game and I was convinced that it would be a WoW killer and I would be playing it in 5 years time. What became apparent though is that EA never intended to expand on what was a brilliant and polished product, instead all we got was the cartel market and a cash grab and when the subscriber's wised up and stopped paying the F2P model dropped into place and all that game gets now is cash shop updates and it still makes EA a lot of money.

There will never be a WoW-killer, in my opinion. I think all game developers, including Blizzard, need to just give up on the idea of ever topping WoW. WoW's success was a perfect storm of game design, market desires, and fortuitous timing. However, the market has evolved considerably since the peak days of WoW's success. Much of the market is probably suffering MMO-burnout from the massive glut of self-proclaimed "WoW-killer" games that constantly failed to fit the bill. Further, as the market has aged, the time and effort demands of an MMO with such epic scope as WoW has become difficult to support. Even the hardcore segment of the gaming community seems to be moderated compared to its earlier days, considering the quick decline of Wildstar, an MMO which very explicitly targeted the hardcore contingent.

To use an analogy, at the height of WoW and the parade of self-proclaimed "WoW-killers", gamers feasted on a smorgasbord of epic games, all requiring massive, dedicated effort. It was not unheard to have some people playing 2, 3, or even 4 or more such games at once. The level of "hardcore" from some of the players in these games was just insane (I was once a guild-leader and had someone apply to my guild who had quit his job so he could spend 50 hours/week playing WoW). However, after years of feasting, reality, in its typical ponderous and inevitable fashion, began to impose itself and make known to us that our capacity for the feast is not infinite. In the aftermath of all that epic feasting came the most epic case of indigestion ever known. Gamers become a kind of "violently ill" from just basic overeating. Consequently, gamers have become revolted at the idea of having to engage in such a massive gluttony ever again.

In my opinion, game developers need to find ways of allowing games to be played at a more moderated pace rather than require the maniacal, sub-basement dweller game-addict type mentality. Instead of these epic feasts as before, the games have to be more moderate. The portions need to be more bite-sized and more easily digested. Not so much to the point of being like baby-food; the meal still needs to be nice and meaty. It just has to not require one have the digestive track of Hercules to have any hope of coping with the meal.

This also means, in my opinion, that game developers need to give up on the idea of their particular game being that one and only game that everyone is playing. Instead, any given game probably should focused toward appealing to a particular cadre of fans or a particular collection of tastes and interests. In my opinion, trying to design a game to appeal to everyone will just ensure that it appeals to no one at all. Even WoW, at its peak, didn't appeal to everyone, just a very large contingent. Knowing your audience, in my opinion, is extremely important. It's easy to become highly ambitious and seek to conquer the Universe; however, that ambition needs to be reigned in and tempered with a more moderated approach that fits within one's given time, resources, and capabilities.

Better to have made the most successful MMO of all time and call it there than to fail trying to do it again.

I have to admit I'm a bit disappointed myself given that I was hoping we'd see another major MMO like WoW that could stoke my fire in a massive way for a few years. Pretty much every MMO out there for years has had potential, but few have come close to living up to it. I suppose the genera is dying like everything does eventually, but I figured it was going to get one last big success story when someone finally decided to put the time and effort into doing it right again since it seems most MMOs continually make the same mistakes again and again.

That said, I do sort of doubt Blizzard's claims as to why they scrapped the project, I think it's probably more a matter of them being handed marching orders from their leash holders that looked at what happened with a lot of other MMOs and decided not to risk the money. I honestly cannot see why a design team would be unhappy with creating a huge world, in favor of say churning out more digital card packs.

Im just afraid that activision will cull blizzard once WoW has finaly bleed out of subscribers (wich admittetly might take a couple more years to happen) and that the "small projects" will not be paying for blizzs extensive staff and rather... extravagant behavior (its done when its done) and force it to become another dime a dozen spiritual dead brand name that churns out 0815 AAA titles.

smart decision by blizzard. The mmo market is shrinking. Even if they managed to strike lightning twice, the fledgling genre just doesn't justify all the financial risk.

Better for blizz to continue to develop their all ready entrenched wow mmo, while diversifying their gaming portfolio with things like hearthstone

We may have known nothing about the game but can't say I'm not disappointed. Blizzard games are almost always high quality and so much fun to play. I still love WoW but I was welcoming a change of scenery while still keeping rock solid gameplay. Oh well, here's to the next project whatever that may be.

Umm, had anyone but Blizzard ever actually seen Titan? Let alone referred to it as ambitious? Because a developer calling something ambitious doesn't make it so.

Though I guess you could argue that trying to follow up the success of WoW is certainly ambitious.

No great loss though. The world doesn't need yet another shitty MMO.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here